Otsukai Tips

Otsukai Tips

How do I boost my chances of getting offers?

Otsukai tips - Boosting your chances of getting offers

Hello! It's me, the keeper of Otsukai! But you can call me Otsukai-chan.

Ever been disappointed when you upload a Request to Otsukai only to receive no offers?
Although it's never guaranteed that the item you want is available, I'm here to give you some legit Otsukai-chan tips on how to ~boost~ your chances of getting interesting offers! (*´ω`*)

First up, be clear!!

Don't forget that the Friends are not usually fluent in English.

Keep it short and sweet! Friends don't need to know if it's for your grandma's sister's mama's dog.

If you are after a specific item, be sure to include:

    ・item type
・character name
・character description
・event the item was released at
・any other helpful information

Pictures speak a ka-jillion words! If you can find a picture of the item, then please upload it.

Not looking for a specific item? Hoping the Friends will introduce you to items you've never seen before?
We love these kinds of Requests at Otsukai, but try not to be too vague. Try adding some info to help ground the Request, such as the name of a character you like or amount you're willing to spend. Don't forget you can use the comment feature to chat with the Friend - ask 'em any questions you might have!

That's how you can boost your chances...but how can you lower them?

Unreasonable budgets. Especially with vaguer requests, a budget can be really helpful, but asking for a super rare plush for $50 will just put Friends off.

Spam. Uploading tonnes of Requests at once or deleting and re-uploading them over and over to bump 'em to the top page is kinda spammy. It's unfair on other Otsukai users, and can also be an inconvenience to the Friends who have been workin' away researching items for you. Please wait a week or so before you try re-uploading your Request. Feel free to contact the guys over at Otsukai support if you're still not getting any offers.

☆ Adding too much unnecessary information

☆ Using incorrect categories (e.g. asking for plushies but putting it in the 'Books' category)

Mis-using tags

Requesting items from Otsukai's 'What not to request' list

So in a nutshell, you can boost your chances of receiving offers by just making clear, straight-to-the-point Requests! Wahoo!

Why don't you try making a Request right now?
Good luck, and don't fudge it up! ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ

xoxoxo Otsukai-chan

How do I request for event merch?

Otsukai-chan's tips - Using Otsukai to get rare merch

Hello my chickens, it's Otsukai-chan!

You probably already know that Otsukai is a bit different to some other proxy services out there, and you can use it in lots of different ways. I'm here give you some tips on how to be the best at Otsukai!!!

This time I'm gonna guide you on how to get hold of rare merchandise, including older stuff that can be suuuuper hard to find.

Most Requests for stuff on Otsukai can be split into two main types:

Requests for specific items.

Slightly more open Requests, where maybe you're hoping you'll get offers for various bits and bobs, or even stuff you've never seen before!

If you're looking for a rare or old piece of memorabilia, you should make a specific Request!
Add any info you have so that the Friend can get going and start looking for it!
You can upload pics, links that talk about the item, descriptions...anything! Just make sure it's in English or Japanese and easy to understand.
If you're looking for a really old or niche item, the more info the better! Even things like the year it was released would be super helpful!
If you've never made a Request before then take a quick nosey at this guide to help get you started.

You'll be surprised at what Friends may be able to find even with the teensiest bit of info.
Even if you don't really know anything about the item, you should still try making a Request, my dudes!

For a lot of super rare stuff, you can only get 'em via online auction.
In this case the Friend might tell you they wanna bid and might ask for a budget.
This is where the comment function comes in!
The Otsukai support team are also there for you if things get a bit complicated. Don't worry!!

And don't forget — patience is a virtue <3 ^_−☆

So how about it? Really want some ancient merch but just can't find it anywhere?
Challenge our Friends to find it for you. What've you got to lose?

TL;DR - be specific in your Request, keep it simple and be patient!! And don't forget rare goods don't often come cheap...

Buckle up!
XOX Otsukai-chan

Why are some of the prices way more than I was expecting?

Otsukai tips - why is it so expensive?

Yaa yaa yaa, it's ya girl Otsukai-chan here!

I'm here to give you some tips on how to make the most of easy proxy-buying service Otsukai!

Today I want to talk to you about prices on Otsukai!

Perhaps you're a little stumped as to why you've been getting unexpected prices.
Or maybe you've wondered what exactly is included in your price.
Or maybe you are just looking for something that will fit your budget.

Otsukai-chan is here to break it down for ya! ♪( ´▽`)

When you get an offer from the Friend on Otsukai, it will include:

    ☆ The price of the actual item
The price of the international shipping
An 8% PayPal charge
A 10% Otsukai service fee
Something for the friend's time

And, if applicable

    ☆ Domestic shipping fee
Packaging fee
Event entry fee
Drink fee
Transportation fee

Woah, woah, woah. Hold tf up. What's with all these fees?? You're scamming me!
Nah, mate. Everything here is necessary for the Friend to ship the item to you.
Let me explain exactly what each fee is!

☆☆ The price of the actual item
Exactly what it says on the tin. This is the price the item will cost the Friend. It may not necessarily be the RRP of the item, but is the price the Friend has to pay for it. Just because an item originally went on sale for 400 yen does not means it's possible to buy it at that price now. This is usually the most difficult thing to gauge before you make a Request.

☆☆ The price of the international shipping.
The Friend's gotta estimate and calculate the cost of shipping the item to you. If you wanna try making a shipping estimate yourself, try this helpful page from Japan post! Otsukai also have a nice guide that breaks down the different types of shipping method.

☆☆ An 8% PayPal fee
Otsukai currently only accepts PayPal as a payment method. This is because we believe it's the best way to guarantee a safe transaction both for you and us! This 8% also includes the currency conversion fees. If you get a $40 offer, you'll be paying $40 even if you pay in a different currency.

☆☆ 10% Otsukai service fee
This is the money Otsukai needs to exist! Without this the Otsukai staff would starve.
(T ^ T)

☆☆ Something for the Friend's time
Otsukai connects you to regular Japanese people who want to share Japanese stuff with the world. They are not employed by Otsukai and are users just like you are! The Friend needs to add on a small fee to make up for their time. It's usually just a couple hundred yen and often forms a cushion just in case they miscalculate the shipping costs.

☆☆ Entry fee
This will only apply if you're requesting items from an event that the Friend will need to pay to enter. Whether or not the Friend needs to charge you 100% of the entry fee is up to the Friend and depends on the situation. Please don't expect the Friend to eat costs for you for an event they wouldn't usually attend.

☆☆ Transportation fee
If the Friend needs to go out their way to go to a brick-and-mortar store for you, they may need compensating for some of the transportation costs. Don't worry, you won't be expected to pay for a flight or shinkansen ticket! It's usually a couple hundred yen for a train or bus.

☆☆ Packaging fee
The Friend may need to buy a box, envelope, bubble wrap etc. This is more common if the item is from a brick-and-mortar store. If the Friend buys the item online then it will already come in packaging and you won't need to pay for it.

☆☆ Domestic shipping fee
This is a fee that the vast majority of offers on Otsukai will need to include. If the Friend has ordered the item online for you then they will need to pay for it to be shipped to their house before they can send it to you. Although there are a few websites that offer free domestic shipping, many of them do not. If your item has been procured via a customer-to-customer website such as an online auction website, then there will definitely be some domestic shipping fees involved.

☆☆ Drink fee
If the Friend needs to make a drink or food order to get hold of certain items from themed cafes, then you may be expected to make a contribution to it. This is especially when you are after bromides and coasters!

So that's what each of the charges mean. If you would like a simple breakdown from the Friend then just let them know in a comment!

Because I'm so great, I'll role-play through an example!

Let's say you want a J*J* B*zarre Adventure T*monui plushie.
You loooove N*rancia and the plush of him is basically life-size so you make a Request.

I'm the Friend!!

Okay, so these bois were in crane game machines last year.

How much do they cost now?
Hmmmmmm, this plush is really popular....I can't find him in any of the secondhand shops.
Oh look, I found him on a flea market app!
He's 8,000 yen...damn
Okay, that will have to do. I can't find him for any cheaper, and bootlegs are a no-go.

Including the shipping to get him to my house he's gonna cost 8,270 yen.
Now I need to work out the international shipping.
This is pretty expensive item so I'm gonna start off by offering ePacket shipping.
That way if something happens to him he'll be covered by insurance. It's also much cheaper than EMS.
I'm gonna estimate that the plush and packaging will be 250g. And you've told me you're in Canada.
So I put that into the handy calculator on Japan Post...860 yen!

I'm getting the item shipped to me so I don't need to repackage him.
I'll add on just 200 yen for my time because I'm kind.
Alright...quick maths... 9,330 yen...
Now I enter that price in Japanese yen into the offer.
Otsukai will automatically add on the 18% fee and convert it into USD.
That comes to $109.96.


So there you can see what goes into the prices offered on Otsukai.

Sometimes if you're searching for older or rarer items, the price of the item itself can be kind of high.
But the Friends on Otsukai will work hard to search for the best price!
If you're lucky, the item could be much cheaper than the original price.

If the item you want is unfortunately a little bit over your budget, then you can try and get an alternative!
If you give a budget, the Friends could find you something similar.
Maybe the plush is a bit too expensive but you can get a cheaper keyring instead!

Give it a go!

So Otsukai-chan's takeaway for today is that the prices on Otsukai have various fees included.
Don't forget that the price you see is the price you pay! It already includes the shipping etc.
And if you want a bit of a breakdown on the prices...just ask the Friend nicely in a comment.
They won't bite!

- Otsukai-chan

About the shipping time

Greetings! It's me! The keeper of Otsukai! (I'll let you call me Otsukai-chan)

When buying stuff online, it's only natural you'll spend time wondering when your order is gonna arrive.
I'm here to guide you on estimated shipping times on Otsukai!

The first question you're probably thinking about is 'how long until the item gets shipped?'
Well, when the Friend makes the offer, they will fill the Estimated time until shipping section.
This is how long the Friend thinks it will be before they can send you a shipping notification.
It does NOT mean how long the item will take to arrive so be careful, ok?

You may notice that a lot of items have time-frames such as 8~10 days or even 11~14 days.
You're thinking "hey why does it take so long to ship?? ( *`ω´) "
This is because many of the items offered on Otsukai aren't actually in the possession of the Friends.

In most cases, the Friends are searching for the item and buying it on your behalf. They won't actually get ahold of it until you accept one of their offers.
If they intend on getting the item from a flea market app or online auctions website, it can take a little while until the item actually reaches their hands.

The word 'estimated' is also there for a reason. Our Friends are not psychic (that would certainly make using the website a lot easier!), so the actual shipping of the item could be later or earlier than expected.

If the Friend thinks the item is late getting to them, they will let the Otsukai support guys know, who will in turn contact you.
Of course feel free to contact our guys anyway if the estimated timeframe has long-passed and you're worried about the item.

So that's how the estimated shipping time works.
But wait!
What about.........preorders?
If a Friend offers you a preorder item, they will put Preorder item in the Estimated shipping time.
They are also meant to write the expected release date in the More info box when they make the offer.
You gotta bear in mind that release dates can change, so don't panic too much if you don't get a shipping notification dead-on the expected release date!
If we find out about a delay in the release date then you may receive an email letting you know.
Delays from the manufacturer DO sometimes happen and cannot be helped. Cut those hard-working guys some slack too.

So that's enough about shipping, what about the arrival??
Well, how long the item takes to arrive depends on the shipping method you choose.
The fastest method will always be EMS, which only takes a few days.
If you're in no rush for the item, try ePacket or ePacket light, which will take a little longer but will save you money.

You can read about the shipping methods on Otsukai's shipping guide.
You can also play around with this page on Japan Post's website to get a clearer estimate of shipping times and costs.

There are many factors that can affect how long the item takes, such as the country you live in or how busy the postal system is at the time.
If you check the tracking number of your order and see that it hasn't updated for some time (especially if it seems to be at a Japanese airport!), try not to worry! It's not uncommon for packages to wait patiently at the airport for a few days or even a couple of weeks while some space is found for them on an airplane.

If your item takes longer to arrive than you hoped, please do not blame the Friend as they have no control over the postal service ( ; ; )

Did this clear things up for you?

Your offer will have an Estimated time until shipping written in the offer, which is how long it should hopefully take to ship from the date you accept the offer. Preorders are the exception and it should instead be written in the offer as a More info note or comment.
How long it takes to arrive after shipping then depends on the shipping method!

Oh yeah, and here is another one of Otsukai-chan's tips.
Don't be afraid to ask the Friend to change the shipping method! Just make sure you do it BEFORE you accept the offer.
If you want the item insured, don't use ePacket light ( ^ω^ )

Ready to make a Request of your own?
Get going! What are you waiting for?

See ya!
— Otsukai-chan